Scientific hypotheses can come from anywhere at all (well actually just from an intelligent mind). One important thing I learned about science in graduate school was, it did not matter where your hypothesis originated, it only mattered that it could be tested and falsified in a rigorous, repeatable, and measurable way. Scientific notions can arise from any metaphysical framework or lack of a framework. At the basis of creationism and naturalistic evolution are presumed metaphysical truths. Quite possibly, neither of which can be falsified, leaving the resolution to be a matter of faith. However, that does not prevent scientists from developing testable hypotheses that spring from those underlying beliefs. One could argue that intelligent design has fewer metaphysical entanglements than either creationism or naturalistic evolution. The point is that testable hypotheses may come from almost any underlying belief or idea, whereas the actual underlying belief or idea itself may not be a scientific hypothesis.
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).
Over at Uncommon Descent, there have been some interesting discussions about a) atheism and morality1,2 and b) physicalism.3,4 What you will find with almost all atheists is a retreat from materialism where it undermines 1) morality, and 2) rationality or freedom to evaluate evidence in a non-deterministic way. Often the retreat is accomplished by pseudo-spiritual methods (e.g., appeals to quantum mechanics, Buddhism, humanism, nature worship, or just by simply stating “I don’t believe that beliefs are fully physically determined”). In other words, they want materialism in all ways that allow them to deny God’s existence, but reject it in the areas in which it undermines their credibility. None of this is terribly surprising. Were they to examine these issues in a logically consistent manner, they might have to question their atheism. Belief in God is often very threatening to many atheists in part because of problems with commitment and difficulty yielding to authority.
All of the posts below were written by Barry Arrington.
In an experiment, there are one of more hypotheses. When positive predictions are made, there necessarily exists what is called a null hypothesis. The null hypothesis should be stated formally, and constructed before the study is conducted.
H0: Two simultaneous mutations are the upper limit for providing any functional advantage by evolutionary processes.
H1: Evolutionary processes may result in three or more simultaneous mutations conferring a functional advantage to an organism.
In the example above, H0 is the null hypothesis, and H1 is the experimental hypothesis. When an experiment is conducted, a finding of 3 or more simultaneous mutations resulting in a functional advantage would be said to falsify the null hypothesis.
The final writeup would go something like, “Our experiments demonstrated that 3 simultaneous mutations occurred resulting in a functional advantage for the organism. Therefore, we reject H0 in favor of H1.” The trouble in evolutionary biology is that there often is no H0. There is no formal null hypothesis. Evolution is considered to be a fact, and the null hypothesis is not addressed or tested.
Consider a recent peer-reviewed article that provides a null hypothesis that has not been falsified by Darwinist researchers: Continue reading
Filed under: evolution, Intelligent Design, materialism, naturalism, philosophy, science | Tagged: darwinism, evolution, Intelligent Design, null hypotheses, science, statistical power, statistics | Leave a comment »
You never thought you would hear me say something like this, but I’m saying it now. Richard Dawkins deserves some credit for his most recent book, A Devil’s Chaplain. Now, I haven’t even read the book, and probably won’t unless I can find a used copy somewhere. But, I just wanted to give Dawkins his due credit for the title of his book, because this is truth in advertising. I’m guessing that he wants Christians to hate him, and feels he is poking them with this type of book and title. But really, I do have some compassion for Dawkins. A person does not have the intensity of emotions he has on a topic without a great internal struggle of some sort.
Creation on the Web has a review of his most recent tome, and there are some interesting quotes from the review:
Dawkins’ sermons fall apart under close scrutiny, and further, he never even considers deeper philosophical problems underlying his method of argumentation. When Dawkins talks of religions fomenting wars, how does he know on a naturalistic basis that there is anything at all undesirable about war?16 How does he know that there is anything inherently good in ‘truth’? In fact, as Alvin Plantinga has shown,17 there are reasons to doubt whether human thought is even capable of corresponding to reality within a naturalistic framework—the ultimate reductio ad absurdum of naturalism.18
As the late Greg Bahnsen noted,
‘One does not decide whether to form some epistemological viewpoint and theoretical basis for certainty or not; he simply chooses whether he shall do it self-consciously and well.’19
Dawkins has an epistemology. He believes that he is capable of knowing true information by means of the scientific method, but he is entirely without a foundation in naturalism for such a belief. Christians who presuppose Scripture, on the other hand, have epistemological warrant for belief in efficacious reason and science, on the grounds that God is logical and made an orderly universe.20 Small wonder, then, that Dawkins avoids the subject and prefers a surface-level polemical approach. The biblical apologetic not only can withstand his individual ad hoc ‘empirical’ arguments, but even undercuts his entire basis of argument by showing that in order to have a reason to trust reason itself, we must presuppose the God of Scripture.21
Some of the reasoning here is similar to things we’ve discussed previously on this blog. One can sincerely hope that his intense disdain for all authority, other than materialist science, can soften with time. All things are possible with God.
I’ve written before about how Ocam’s razor consistently slices the wrong way in biology…meaning that there is a continuous trend of discovering that the machinery of life is more complex than previously thought.
Scientists have recently discovered,(1) that ribosomes have a “proofreading step,” which is said to recognize errors shortly after making them and has an analog to a computer’s delete button.
It turns out, the Johns Hopkins researchers say, that the ribosome exerts far tighter quality control than anyone ever suspected over its precious protein products which, as workhorses of the cell, carry out the very business of life.
“What we now know is that in the event of miscoding, the ribosome cuts the bond and aborts the protein-in-progress, end of story,” says Rachel Green, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of molecular biology and genetics in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “There’s no second chance.” Previously, Green says, molecular biologists thought the ribosome tightly managed its actions only prior to the actual incorporation of the next building block by being super-selective about which chemical ingredients it allows to enter the process.
Joey Campana discusses this subject (more complex than previously thought) in detail(2):
“More complex than once thought”
A revealing reason that Darwinian thought has not been helpful is that it tends to see biology in simplis-tic terms that are, well, too simple. When searching Google for phrases such as “more complex than pre-viously thought,” over a million-and-a-half hits cur-rently result. Some things that were “more complex than thought” from the first few pages include re-search findings in the following areas:
- communication among cells
- the oldest animal genomes
- bird flight orientation
- patterns of neuronal migration during cortical development
- the relationship between evolution and embry-onic development
- p53 ubiquitination and degradation
- human memory
- the fetal immune system
- the mouse genome
- visual processing in the brain
- regulation of neuronal survival in the retina
- COX enzymes
- the human genome
- the female human body
- cerebellar circuitry and learned behaviors
- estrogen receptors
- neural induction (list truncated)
Currently, “less complex than once thought” only returns two hits. The data coming out of the labs would suggest that we begin to expect that things are more complex. We would stand a greater chance of being correct.
So, the science of biology would be well served by a paradigm shift focusing on design analogs and assuming design rather than assuming chance. When an information recording and trascription system is involved in biology, scientists should first start with all they know about information recording and transcription systems. Error detection and correction is an integral part of these types of systems designed by humans, and engineers can also benefit from the analysis of the machines of life.
Filed under: evolution, Intelligent Design, nanotechnology, philosophy, science, Technology | Tagged: applied science, cellular complexity, cellular machinery, design isomorph, engineering, evolution, Intelligent Design, isomorphic complexity, Ocam's Razor, science | 3 Comments »
The Outsider (DB; one of my co-authors) has an interesting post on the continued materialist assault on the notion of free will.
Wow, so Flip Wilson was right, all those years ago, when he told the judge, “The Devil (or in this case, his “patterns of brain activity”) made me do it!” This gets all of us off of the hook, in a moral or ethical sense, since we are not responsible for our “brain pattern activity!” How can we be responsible when our “brain patterns” are making the choices for us?(1)